In his January 1 address hailing the anniversary of the country’s independence, Prime Minister Robert Fico stressed the special relation his country has with the Czech Republic – since they both arose from the division of communist Czechoslovakia. The prime minister also called on people to be proud of Slovakia and to do things together so that the success story will continue in the upcoming years of independent existence, the Sme daily wrote on January 2.
“Nonetheless, we’re facing major expectations,” Fico added, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “The people want – and it’s absolutely comprehensible – the faster approximation of their living standards to Western Europe. However, this requires Slovakia to remain secure, democratic and respectful towards the political, civil and social rights of its citizens, apart from its clear pro-European orientation. These are the fundamental parameters of an independent statehood that have always been honoured by my governments.”
Fico: Let us continue the success story in the next years
“Let’s be proud of our country,” Fico noted, as quoted by TASR. “Let’s respect what we’ve achieved together. Each of us and we together are drawing upon the successful history of our young state. Let’s do things together so that we can see it as a success story in the next years of our independent existence.”
PM added that in the first 25 years of its independence Slovakia has managed to become a social state, fully established and respected worldwide. The vision of national political elites of the past centuries has turned true, a vision for which these people had been fighting even at the cost of their own freedom, said the social democratic prime minister.
The young generation views the era of the Czechoslovak state as “too distant, as if it were centuries ago, instead of a mere 25 years ago”, Fico pointed out.
“They consider Slovak statehood as natural and perhaps even a boring matter of course,” the prime minister said, as quoted by TASR.
He added that someone could perhaps make a cynical observation that the division of the federation wasn’t dramatic enough, so it’s lacking emotions.
“It’s perhaps a mistake by the social and political elites not to sufficiently point out the unique way the independent republic was set up,” Fico summed up. “It seems that we aren’t careful enough in distinguishing between sound patriotism and nationalism and extremism. We must work more on the relationship to state symbols.”
2. Jan 2018 at 13:44